Wednesday, 5/27/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

The pace is certainly picking up as we are winding down the school year. There are a number of efforts underway to ensure considerations are being given to the high priority areas that need more immediate attention.


To start with, all schools are continuing to finalize their end-of-year plans and events. Typical end-of-year celebrations may have a completely different look to what has been known in the past, but it will still be a celebration of the efforts put in by the students during this unusual time we are all faced with. Particular attention is being given to the guidance that came out from the NH Department of Education with regard to the end-of-year activities and maintaining safe protocols for all participants. Additionally, schools are working on schedules for returning materials and equipment as well. Again, attention to the safety and well-being of all is being considered so that we can collect, clean, and maintain the items that have been at homes for the period of remote learning (and in some cases earlier than that).


We are finalizing the materials that will be widely distributed for the Chesterfield School District in order to facilitate their District Meeting that has been postponed since the onset of the school closures. The intent is to have the materials uploaded to the Chesterfield School website as soon as possible, hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow, Thursday, May 28th. We will also be working with the post office to have hard copies sent to homes over the course of the next few days as well. Information on the District Meeting will be included in these materials.


Additionally, we are working on the final details for the Extended School Year Program for our IDEA eligible students with an expectation that those plans will be in place by the early part of next week. Please stay tuned for those details as it applies to your child(ren).  


I have been receiving a number of resources that people have found with regard to returning to school. Thank you to those that have sent them in, as all resources only lend to making good plans better. It’ll be a difficult process to work through as the state is currently taking on the work to establish recommendations for schools and districts at the same time. However, we do not want to be starting from square one when those recommendations come out, so we are getting that effort off the ground. Please keep an eye on the update as I’ll use this forum to communicate progress on this as it is available. As a side note, it was reported to me earlier today that over 40,000 people have responded to the School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce (“STRRT”) survey thus far. If you have not yet taken the survey, please do so at your earliest convenience, but prior to the survey closing on Friday, May 29th at 8:00PM.  You can access the survey by going to https://www.education.nh.gov/survey2020.  It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete, so please keep that in mind.


Finally, you may be getting tired of seeing me remind everyone to please check in with your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and counselor. I know it sounds like a broken record playing over and over again, but it is really important to do so prior to the closing of the school year. For those that have been checking in along the way, great job! For those that have not, please don’t delay.  Check the parent portal in PowerSchool, and/or zap a quick message to your teacher(s).  At the end of the day, we all want the same thing, the best possible outcomes for all of our children (students).  Remember what our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, once said I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”  Let’s finish strong because after all, WE GOT THIS!!! 


Be Well,

Robb


Remote Learning: If you are experiencing any difficulties or concerns with your child’s remote learning or have questions regarding what is expected, please start by asking your child’s teacher. Our teachers are doing a GREAT job of continuing the teaching and learning process through these adverse circumstances and can provide immediate answers or direct your questions accordingly.


Mental Health and Mental Health Awareness MonthLast week we launched access to our second feature film for Mental Health Awareness Month. Below you will find the link and login information in order to access the Angst online program. I am also including the link and login information for the film Like once again for anyone that may not have had the opportunity to watch it last week. Both of these films will remain available until we have reached our limit for viewings.  


Link to View Angst


Link to View Like


The specific details to login to either film is the same and provided below.

Login: sau29@indieflix.com

Password: sau29


The remaining schedule for the films will be as follows:


Ongoing:  Like a film about the impacts of social media.

Ongoing:  Angst a film about anxiety in our youth.

May 28 at 6PM: The Upstanders a film about Cyber-bullying with a live panel discussion immediately following the film at 7PM.


As a follow up to both films, “Like” and “Angst” some of our dedicated staff have created a pre-recorded panel discussion on many of the most asked questions in relation to those films.  This panel discussion will be available for you to watch at your convenience and is linked both here and in the update below.


A friendly reminder that we have limited viewings for each film, so it is really important that households only access one of the viewings. This will allow more of our families and our staff to be able to watch the films as well.


As always, please reach out to your child’s team of school counselors or school nurses if you need support or assistance during this challenging time. If you are not sure who to contact, please call or email your child's building principal.  If you are unable to reach someone, please contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email rmatte@sau29.org.  


Resources:

  • The 5 Signs to help you identify and support others who may be struggling more than usual at this challenging time, or at any time.
  • A Mom's Retreat - A podcast on managing anxiety.

School Boards:  Please use the links below to access the most recent school board meetings for your respective school district.


Chesterfield -  CSB Meeting Video

Harrisville -  HSB Meeting Video

Keene - KBE Meeting Video

Marlborough - MbSB Meeting Video

Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video

Nelson - NSB Meeting Video

Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video


Weekly Challenge:  This two-week challenge is to create a BRIEF thank you video lasting about 5-10 seconds long and is open to students, parents/guardians and all staff members.  We want to recognize and acknowledge that this has been a difficult time for many of us and being able to complete our school year took a great deal of effort on many people’s behalf.


There are multiple videos that can be created and submitted and you are not limited to any one specifically, meaning you can submit multiple videos if you would like. Here are some suggested categories of videos:


  • From Students:  a video to your parents to say thank you for all that your parents did to support you throughout remote learning.
  • From Students:  a video to your teacher(s) and/or other school staff to say thank you for their efforts in supporting you throughout remote learning.
  • From Parents/Guardians:  a video to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and/or other school staff thanking them for their efforts throughout remote learning. 
  • From Parents/Guardians:  to your child(ren) thanking them for their efforts throughout remote learning.
  • From Staff:  to your students and/or parents/families thanking them for their efforts throughout remote learning.
  • From Staff:  to your colleagues thanking them for their support and effort throughout remote learning.

In order for this to work to the extent we are hoping, we will need permission from parents/guardians to use the videos in the larger production we have planned. This will be easier to attain if permissions accompany submissions so that follow ups are minimized. It could be either a video permission or if the video is emailed from a parent/guardian’s email, written in the body of the email. To safeguard this process, I am emailing students to check with their parents/guardians prior to participation.


Please submit your videos to saupublicinfo@sau29.org with a Cc to rmalay@sau29.org before 5:00PM on Friday, June 5, 2020.  It is our intent to release the compilation of videos prior to the last day of school for all to enjoy.


Special Education: The Student Services Office expects a decision by the start of next week on whether Extended School year Services for IDEA eligible students will be an extension of remote learning or be held in-person.  We appreciate everyone's flexibility and patience as we weigh all options before making this important decision.  Please stay tuned to this daily message to learn about the latest information about ESY.   


The special education and related services staff continue to provide specialized instruction and related therapies from a distance. Moreover, our paraprofessionals and tutors are providing important assistance and support with remote instruction. In addition, the special education department is moving forward with the daily business of Individualized Education Plan Meetings (IEP), transition meetings and Extended School Year Services meetings (ESY) for those students that qualify. As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email rmatte@sau29.org. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:00.  Thank you!


Meals: The order form for meal pick up in the towns is open for Monday, June 1st and Wednesday, June 3rd. Orders must be submitted no later than tomorrow, Thursday, May 28th at 5pm.   Please use this meal order form link to place your order. If you pre ordered meals in the towns for this week, you will pick up your meals today at noon from the school you selected. 


This week's meals in Keene are available for pick up behind Franklin Elementary and Keene High School today from 7:30-11:30am. No preordering is required for pick up at the Keene locations. At every location, you will receive 5 days’ worth of meals.


Menus and offerings will vary based on availability


Technology: Collecting Chromebooks. We will be aligning the collection of the Chromebooks with the returns of other resources from your schools. We are asking that you bring the Chromebooks back to the school you picked them up from. Please remember to bring the Power supply with the Chromebook. Look for more information from your school and in this update.


Help desk number, (603)352-0640 ext 3871,  For help with the Home user and remote learning click here


Phishing attempts:  We have had another phishing attempt. We have blocked the person that is attempting to scam us. Please read this document for more information.


We have Kami as a part of the Google classroom for Teachers and students. Click here for the 1st time login instructions. Click here for the help with getting started with Kami.  


Vetted APPs and Websites:  You can check the online vetted site here SDPC  Look up the App and website by company. We have added more to the list as we get them back from the Vetting team. 


Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  


Additional Resources:


School Calendars: You can use this link to view your district’s calendar:  SAU 29 School District Calendars.  The 2020-2021 school year calendars can also be found using this link.


School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only.  All buildings are closed on the weekend.


June 18-19:  All buildings in SAU 29 are closed.

June 26:  Rescheduled floating holiday from April 24.


School GroundsAll school playgrounds, fields, and other outdoor facilities are closed until further notice.  


Social Distancing:  Please refer to Governor Sununu’s Emergency Orders for additional guidance on this as well as other areas of interest.


Contact Information: Dr. Rick Matte is the lead contact person for all COVID-19 inquiries and concerns at all SAU 29 schools and districts.  He can be reached at rmatte@sau29.org


Governor Sununu has also activated a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline for all related needs and supports. The hotline can be reached by dialing 211.


COVID-19 and Remote Learning Resources: